"Tramps like us, baby we were born to die," shouts Titus Andronicus singer Patrick Stickles on the opening track of his band's latest album, The Monitor. The line is an obvious homage to both the Garden State, from which he and his bandmates hail, and that state's most celebrated Boss. Unlike certain Gaslight-y bands from the area, Titus Andronicus borrows sparingly from Springsteen and instead focuses on shaping a sound of its own centered on Stickles, who expresses frustrations about his home state, his country and life in general, with the delivery and fragility of Desaparecidos-era Conor Oberst. Delivering lyrics that resonate more with every listen, a punk-rock passion and a landscape wrought with inspiration, Titus Andronicus has the potential to be one of the most exciting and intriguing bands playing music today.
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